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McNeill's Ruby Ale - McNeill's Brewery

Not Rated.
McNeill's Ruby AleMcNeill's Ruby Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

71 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby Ale starts off with a relatively light nose, composed of roughly equal parts hops and malts. The latter brings toasted grain and roasted nut aromas, and the latter imparts a faint grapefruity note.

On the tongue, the beer has far more to present, beginning with a nice malty smack that brings pecan, toasted cereal, and faint hints of chocolate malt, all mixed with a good brown sugary sweetness. Halfway through the mouthful the hops kick in, bringing grapefruit and pine flavors to the mix. The aftertaste is largely bitter hops and toasted nuts, lingering on the tongue and stinging the soft palate for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a good ruby ale, well-balanced and nicely nuanced to offer most everyone a flavor or two that they'll find appealing. If anything, it could offer a few more fruit flavors--some apricot would have mixed in nicely with the cereal and nuts--but as it is, it's still a good beverage.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 02:55:47 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
Photo of patrick802
patrick802

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

05-04-2014 19:55:19 | More by patrick802
Photo of Noelito76
Noelito76

New York

3/5  rDev -15.5%

02-22-2014 15:17:26 | More by Noelito76
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

12-11-2013 03:35:29 | More by BillRoth
Photo of bacher468
bacher468

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

10-27-2013 17:55:00 | More by bacher468
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

09-18-2013 17:57:15 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of petermethot
petermethot

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -15.5%

06-26-2013 00:49:46 | More by petermethot
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

03-27-2013 03:01:05 | More by MadScientist
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.
freshness info: states that the beer is best before the last day of the month notched, which in this case is september.

as has been noted by other reviewers, the label is completely different from the picture in the beer's profile, with the new one depicting a genie and genie lamps... which is good, because nothing puts me in the mood for a hoppy amber ale like Aladdin.

pours a slightly cloudy dull medium-amber tone while yielding a huge, billowing, 3" + head that fades at a slow to moderate rate, leaving lots of lacing behind. hoppy characters are a bit faded in the nose. seems the beer has fallen off a bit, despite being a month from the 'best before' date. good dose of toasty malts.

flavor, thankfully, is an improvement, with the hoppy presence more perceivable here. some citrus and pine, along with the toasted maltiness that was evident in the aroma. medium bodied in the mouth with average carbonation.

overall a decent beer. i think i caught in right at the precipice of it's decent, so there's little doubt i'd have a better take with a fresh sample.

(originally reviewed: 08-23-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 00:56:41 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Nelson529
Nelson529


4/5  rDev +12.7%

04-13-2012 22:39:25 | More by Nelson529
Photo of KenC
KenC

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

03-24-2012 20:23:05 | More by KenC
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

03-11-2012 01:00:13 | More by djrn2
Photo of Ajlvt
Ajlvt

Washington

4/5  rDev +12.7%

01-30-2012 17:14:43 | More by Ajlvt
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13

Pennsylvania

2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opened the bottle and had to run to the sink to save the beer, and it kept gushing! Let it set 15 minutes...

poured into a fluted glass, color is amber head is thick and weird up top; translucent.

Smell is mild caramel flavors with a nice hoppiness that is piney, earthy.

Taste is somewhat bland then really bitter; flavor is lightly biscuity but overtaken by the spicy, earthy bitterhops.

Mouthfeel is to bitter for an amber ale, presents strongly on the tongue and doesn't let go.

Overall, very dissapointing brew, odd mixture of flavors and scents for an amber and 1/4 of it ended up on my floor.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 02:00:47 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +12.7%

11-20-2011 04:32:33 | More by ElGallo
Photo of inventsituations
inventsituations

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +12.7%

11-20-2011 00:28:14 | More by inventsituations
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden ruby color with bright red edges and a two finger frothy light beige head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with streaks of soapy lacing.

Floral hop aroma with earthy notes that are countered by a sweet malt backbone. Hints of earthy pine needle and subtle citrus balanced by hints of sweet rye and caramel as well as some biscuit and toast.

Medium bodied and similar to the aroma with a slightly stronger hop presence. Earthy and floral up front while only being slightly bitter. Kind of dry with the hop flavor lingering over the sweet malt backbone into a slight dry finish. Subtle earthy pine flavor followed by caramel, rye and biscuit. Session able but kind of bland.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 02:51:08 | More by corby112
Photo of DoreenAndDave
DoreenAndDave

Maine

3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a hazy amber with a very thick cream-colored head. Smell is bready and yeasty with some hints of hops. Taste is good, but not amazing. Malt up front with a pleasant bitter finish. Not a lot of depth or nuance, but solid. Mouthfeel is fine; it seems a little more carbonated than perhaps is necessary. Overall, I would rate this as good but not great. The bottle I had was a month past its best-by date. I suspect this would be better if a little fresher.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 03:49:11 | More by DoreenAndDave
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.
freshness info: states that the beer is best before the last day of the month notched, which in this case is september.

as has been noted by other reviewers, the label is completely different from the picture in the beer's profile, with the new one depicting a genie and genie lamps... which is good, because nothing puts me in the mood for a hoppy amber ale like Aladdin.

pours a slightly cloudy dull medium-amber tone while yielding a huge, billowing, 3" + head that fades at a slow to moderate rate, leaving lots of lacing behind.

hoppy characters are a bit faded in the nose. seems the beer has fallen off a bit, despite being a month from the 'best before' date. good dose of toasty malts.

flavor, thankfully, is an improvement, with the hoppy presence more perceivable here. some citrus and pine, along with the toasted maltiness that was evident in the aroma. medium bodied in the mouth with average carbonation.

overall a decent beer. i think i caught in right at the precipice of it's decent, so there's little doubt i'd have a better take with a fresh sample.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 02:11:00 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well a lot's changed with this beer over time, and not just the label with an almost "Arabian Nights" scene depicted in what I've come to recognize as the artistic style particular to McNeill's (newer) labels rather than a crappy paper label. The inside seems a little different too. Notes are a few nights old.

A big, creamy, billowing light orange head caps a beer that looks the thick, clouded dark orange-brown of pure, unrefined apple cider. This head begins about three fingers tall and never fully dissipates, leaving plenty of lacing spottily on the glass.
My first thought even as it pours (and before I've established the color) is of Grany Smith apples. After the pour some grains kick under a big, rich bready and caramel malt backbone with a bit of sweetness to it. Hops don't come out as clearly as they could here in the aroma.
Hops really do come out in the flavor, however, as this beer becomes predominantly bitter in a mostly herbal and floral way. A bit of that Granny Smith tartness is in there and the balance from malts is still good, though they almost get kicked aside.
The body is on the fuller side of medium. A crispness begins up front and overshadows the smoothness, though it doesn't choke it out. A long-lingering finish is dry.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 14:15:42 | More by Brenden
Photo of david18
david18

New York

4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a sixteen ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This was one of a number of very good amber ales that I've had recently, which was a nice change from all the IPA's that bars seem to feature.

Appearance was very red, much more red than amber with a nice light red head. Very pretty.

Aroma had a nice mix of light malts and light hops, very well balanced.

Flavor was surprisingly complex for a beer this light and of this style. A sweet maltiness combined with some light citrus hops. Very good.

Overall, I would recommend this beer, particularly during the warm weather months.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2011 20:24:39 | More by david18
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my McNeill's pint glass. Best before the last day of August notched on the label. Pours a semi-hazy caramel with a tight, two inch, cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap. Some textured strands of lacing are revealed; however, they appear close to the cap line. Nose expresses citrus notes, a slight floral hops presence and a malty character in the background (perhaps a trace of caramel). Citrus flavors hit the front of the palate, followed by an earthy/herbal quality. The malty backbone is still there, but there's also a slight buttery quality (diacetyl) that all but covers up the caramel flavor. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a carbonation that falls just short of lively. There's also some astringency attributable to the citrus. A solid Amber, but not one of my preferred from this brewer. However, the price is definitely right at $3.99

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 23:23:06 | More by Jwale73
Photo of EkimGram
EkimGram

New York

3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from 650mL bottle into Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Pours a 2-finger, fluffy head. A nice amer colour, more brown than ruby.

Smell: Aroma is mainly malts with a bit more than a bit of hops. There is a bit of fruity sweetness as well.

Taste: Bitterness from the hops is front and foremost. Malt is following and then ends with some fruity bite. A little bitter heavy, otherwise pretty balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a mild amount of carbonation. Leaves a little bit of film in the mouth.

Drinkability: The bitter is a little too strong for my preference. Not a great beer but not a bad beer either.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 05:28:59 | More by EkimGram
Photo of MoreThanWine
MoreThanWine

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

They must have an updated label on this beer, mine looked different. And they may have boosted the formula perhaps. Poured almost all head at first and took a long time to settle to 1/8". Hazy reddish color (uh, ruby). Medium body with a good mouthfeel. Smells and tastes like a mid-range IPA. Bitter but not too much.
A nice beer but I'm not sure where or how it won 13 major awards as the label claims.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 13:11:21 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle from the Lebanon, NH Coop.

A: The amber is an attractive copper color, one that showcases a bright orange glow when held at the correct angle. Translucent, the ale is darkened by a pervasive haziness. A finger of white head has left lace that encircles my glass.

S: The ale smells much better than I was expecting. Bready malts, grainy with caramel sweetness are paired with citrusy hops that have a nice strength to them. The juiciness comes through pleasantly in the nose.

T: The caramel stands out, a smooth sweetness that nicely carries the rest of the ale. As the caramel wafts away, citrusy hops take their place. The hoppiness is zesty, sweeter than I'd expect for an amber. As the ale warms, unfortunately, the hoppiness subsides in favor of the caramel. Citrus is still present, just not as strong. A strong start to my McNeill's portfolio.

M: The mouthfeel is chewy, plenty of caramel to aid in that regard. The hoppiness that is strongest about 1/3 of the way through is worth the price of admission.

D: I'm very pleased with the Ruby Ale, a flavorful and well-balanced ale that didn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 01:48:33 | More by akorsak
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McNeill's Ruby Ale from McNeill's Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.